Although I don’t cook as much as I once did, I occasionally enjoy puttering around my little kitchen. Give me a stir-fry where I can improvise, and you’ll find me whistling while I work. I am at my creative best when it comes to soup. Extra vegetables, zucchini noodles replacing wheat noodles, and a little less salt or a tad more hot sauce rarely ruin a pot of soup!
Baking is a different kettle of fish. Although I know better, I scoff at the exact measurements demanded by baking recipes. I toss in a bit more salt. How could that hurt? What harm could a little more sugar do? Surely all that stirring isn’t necessary between steps. Why do I need to sift the flour, wouldn’t fluffing it with a fork be easier? A shortcut or two never hurt anyone.
If I can’t find a measuring cup, a mug will suffice. I consider myself to be pretty good at estimating. Surely an extra teaspoon of cinnamon, give or take, wouldn’t make that much of a difference, would it? 350F or 325F. A twist of the dial is good enough for me. Directions are for the unimaginative!
I’ve seen them all in my sordid baking career: doughy cakes, bread that fail to rise, tough pie crusts, burned cookies, and half-baked muffins that spill over their tins. My refusal to follow the advice of cookbook authors earns me nothing but wasted flour, sugar, butter, and spices. My presumption that I can ignore the science behind baking usually results in catastrophic culinary failure.
You can’t bake well unless you follow a recipe’s directions.
No compromises, creative additions, or retractions are allowed regarding the laws of the Kingdom of God. And how our flesh rebels at that! How it complains and moans when it hits an irrefutable biblical truth such as the law of sowing and reaping. It is impossible to bear good fruit in our lives when we try to take a spiritual shortcut here and there. We can’t fudge the truth, and we can’t bend the rules. The results will always be the same: flat hearts, fleshly sins, dry spirits, tough shells and seared consciences. The consequences of our sinful rebellion will bubble up, spilling over into the lives of others.
I think I’ll repent of my rebellious ways and follow the Divine Baker’s directions. I’d much rather dig into a toothsome sweetness of a life lived fully submitted to His wisdom than scrape the burned offerings of my messes into the nearest garbage bin.
Blessed is everyone who fears the Lord,
who walks in his ways!
You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;
you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.
Your wife will be like a fruitful vine
within your house;
your children will be like olive shoots
around your table.
Behold, thus shall the man be blessed
who fears the Lord.
The Lord bless you from Zion!
May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem
all the days of your life!
May you see your children’s children!
Peace be upon Israel!
It’s impossible to live a victorious Christian life unless you obey God.
I can’t think of another Bible passage that spells out the abundant blessings of obedience and the sobering consequences of disobedience than Deuteronomy 28. When we follow God’s guidance, our lives will be blessed. Spend some time this week and allow the Holy Spirit to place a gentle finger of correction on any areas of your life that you are living in disobedience. What fruit is that disobedience yielding? Repent for that independent streak, humble yourself, and determine to submit your heart and will to God’s directives.
All Bible verses, unless otherwise attributed, are from the English Standard Version (ESV).
Until Next Week
©2022 Katherine Walden